paleontology

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A New 'Swimming' Dinosaur Emerges
You've Never Known a
Dinosaur Like This Before
NEW STUDY

You've Never Known a Dinosaur Like This Before

'Natovenator polydontus' is first found with streamlined ribcage for swimming and diving

(Newser) - Paleontologists have discovered a dinosaur unlike any other known so far. Its Latin and Greek name, Natovenator polydontus, means "swimming hunter with many teeth." Yes, swimming. "I think like a swimming Velociraptor is a pretty good characterization," Philip Currie of the University of Alberta, co-author of...

This May Be 'Missing Link' in T. Rex Evolution
This May Be
'Missing Link'
in T. Rex Evolution
NEW STUDY

This May Be 'Missing Link' in T. Rex Evolution

Ancestor 'Daspletosaurus wilsoni' offers further evidence of linear evolution

(Newser) - Paleontologists have uncovered a new species of tyrannosaur that they say serves as a "missing link" in the evolution of Tyrannosaurus rex. Experts from the Badlands Dinosaur Museum in North Dakota were digging at the Judith River Formation in Montana in 2017 when paleontologist Jack Wilson spotted a flat...

Fossil Discovery Spurs Believers in Nessie
Fossil Discovery Spurs
Believers in Nessie
NEW STUDY

Fossil Discovery Spurs Believers in Nessie

Study suggests ancient plesiosaurs lived in freshwater bodies of water, though not Loch Ness

(Newser) - A new study offering some of the best evidence yet for ancient long-necked reptiles living in freshwater lakes has been seized upon by believers in the Loch Ness Monster. Plesiosaurs, small-headed beasts with flippers that disappeared from the fossil record 66 million years ago, certainly inhabited Earth's oceans. There...

Paleontologist Calls Gorgosaurus Sale a 'Disaster'

Rare skeleton was sold for $6.1M

(Newser) - A rare and exquisite Gorgosaurus skeleton sold for $6.1 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York City Thursday—but since the anonymous buyer apparently wasn't a museum or an unusually wealthy paleontologist, scientists say they find the sale concerning. Gorgosaurus was a distant—and faster—relative...

This Could Change Theory on the Origin of Humankind

Australopithecus africanus fossils in South Africa are a million years older than we thought

(Newser) - The earliest species of human is thought to have evolved from East Africa based on fossil findings, including that of the famous Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis who lived in what is now Ethiopia some 3.2 million years ago. But that theory might now be shifting thanks to new findings...

Remains of 'Hector' Just Sold for Really Big Bucks

Skeleton of dino that inspired velociraptors in 'Jurassic Park' was bought for $12.4M at auction

(Newser) - "Hector" has been sold. The skeleton of the Deinonychus antirrhopus dinosaur species, said to be the inspiration for the velociraptors in 1993's Jurassic Park, was auctioned off by Christie's on Thursday to an undisclosed buyer for $12.4 million, more than double the price the auction house...

Scientist: This Dinosaur Died on the Day of Asteroid Strike

Leg was among many finds at North Dakota site that preserved the 'death blow'

(Newser) - The asteroid that hit the Earth around 66 million years ago brought an abrupt end to the Cretaceous period—and to the life of a Thescelosaurus dinosaur whose incredibly well-preserved leg was found at a North Dakota site. Researchers say they can pinpoint the day of the dinosaur's death...

Lost Continent Explains a 34M-Year-Old Extinction
Lost Continent Explains
a 34M-Year-Old Extinction
NEW STUDY

Lost Continent Explains a 34M-Year-Old Extinction

Researchers discover Balkanatolia, an ancient island turned land bridge

(Newser) - About 34 million years ago, native fauna disappeared from Western Europe, as mammals from Asia took over. The extinction, known as the Grande Coupure or "great break," might as well have been called the great puzzle. For decades, researchers have been unable to explain how animals from eastern...

Controversial Take: T. Rex Is Actually 3 Species
Controversial Take:
T. Rex Is Actually 3 Species
NEW STUDY

Controversial Take: T. Rex Is Actually 3 Species

Research team wants 'tyrant lizard king' joined by an 'emperor' and 'queen'

(Newser) - Tyrannosaurus rex is the most intensively studied dinosaur in the world. Yet generations of paleontologists have failed to notice that T. rex is not a unique species but actually three, according to new research published Tuesday in Evolutionary Biology . "This paper is likely to rock the paleo community, and...

Largest Known Jurassic Pterodactyl Is Found
Pterodactyl Find Is a
'Discovery of the Century'
NEW STUDY

Pterodactyl Find Is a 'Discovery of the Century'

Fossil shows pterosaurs evolved huge wingspans much earlier than previously thought

(Newser) - Paleontologists are heralding the "discovery of the century" in Scotland: a fossil of a pterodactyl with a wingspan wider than a king-size bed. The fossil, some 70% complete, is not only the best-preserved of any pterosaur but the largest of any pterosaur to come from the Jurassic period, per...

Noted Paleoanthropolgist Dies in Kenya at Age 77

Richard Leakey was the son of world-famous anthropology couple

(Newser) - Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, known for his fossil-finding and conservation work in his native Kenya, has died at 77, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Sunday evening. The cause of death was not announced. Leakey, the son of globally known anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey, also held a number of public service...

At This Sight, Geologist's 'Eyes Fell Out of My Head'
At This Sight, Geologist's
'Eyes Fell Out of My Head'
in case you missed it

At This Sight, Geologist's 'Eyes Fell Out of My Head'

'Treasure trove' of dinosaur tracks discovered in Poland

(Newser) - Hundreds of millions of years ago, "a very special sequence of events" took place in what's now the village of Borkowice in central-east Poland. As a result, geologists have discovered several hundred well-preserved dinosaur footprints—showing the extinct animals "running, swimming, resting, and sitting" in muddy earth,...

This Dino Species Has 'Something Never Seen Before'
This Dino Species Has
'Something Never Seen Before'
in case you missed it

This Dino Species Has 'Something Never Seen Before'

Fossil of dog-sized stegouros shows it had a tail that could slash, slice like an ancient Aztec weapon

(Newser) - A fossil found in Chile is from a strange-looking dog-sized dinosaur species that had a unique slashing tail weapon, scientists reported Wednesday. Some dinosaurs had spiked tails they could use as stabbing weapons, and others had tails with clubs. The new species, described in a study in the journal Nature...

Fossil Could Be Oldest Known Animal by 350M Years
Fossil Could Be Oldest
Known Animal by 350M Years
NEW STUDY

Fossil Could Be Oldest Known Animal by 350M Years

Possible remains of ancient sponge found in Canada's far north

(Newser) - Fossils discovered in the far north of Canada could push back the proven timeline of animals on Earth back by around 350 million years—a period of time longer than that between the first dinosaurs and the present day. Geologist Elizabeth Turner says the tiny fossils found in the Northwest...

For Dinosaurs, Asteroid Was Just a Final Blow
For Dinosaurs, Asteroid
Was Just a Final Blow
NEW STUDY

For Dinosaurs, Asteroid Was Just a Final Blow

Study suggests species were struggling before the big collision

(Newser) - You've heard how an asteroid strike 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs . But there's more to the story, according to a new study, which suggests non-avian dinosaurs weren't doing so hot before sulfates and dust filled the atmosphere—some 10 million years before, in fact....

Australia Finds Its Biggest-Ever Dino
Dinosaur Found
in Outback
Was as Big as
Basketball Court
in case you missed it

Dinosaur Found in Outback Was as Big as Basketball Court

Australotitan is biggest dino ever found in Australia

(Newser) - "This is a fantastic beast. Imagine something the size of a basketball court walking around on land," says Scott Hocknall, part of a team of paleontologists that confirmed the discovery of the biggest dinosaur ever found in Australia. Australotitan cooperensis was between 80 and 100 feet long and...

Utah Discovery a 'Tipping Point' on T. Rexes
Mass T. Rex Death Site
Births a Terrifying Theory
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Mass T. Rex Death Site Births a Terrifying Theory

The dino predators may have hunted in packs: researchers

(Newser) - Imagine being chased by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Now imagine being chased by six. That might've been the scenario for T. rex prey, according to new research suggesting the dino predator hunted in packs like wolves. The theory stems from a site discovered in 2014 at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National...

'Eagle Shark' Swam in Ancient Seas
'Eagle Shark' Swam
in Ancient Seas
in case you missed it

'Eagle Shark' Swam in Ancient Seas

93-million-year-old shark would have resembled manta and devil rays

(Newser) - It swam slowly through the seas with a tail fin resembling those of modern sharks and side fins that stretched outward like the wings of modern birds. It's no wonder, then, that this bizarre creature, which died in what is now Mexico some 93 million years ago, has been...

Paleontologists Gain Insight Into a Dinosaur's Butt
Paleontologists Gain Insight
Into a Dinosaur's Butt
new study

Paleontologists Gain Insight Into a Dinosaur's Butt

They're able to re-create in 3D a cloacal opening

(Newser) - It's a first for paleontology, and one that might produce a giggle. For the first time, scientists have been able to describe in fine detail a dinosaur's cloaca. If you're not familiar with that body part, CNET translates: It's essentially "a jack-of-all-trades butthole." The...

Woolly Rhino Found With Organs Intact

It's one of the best-preserved Ice Age animals ever found in Siberia

(Newser) - A well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from permafrost in Russia's extreme north. Russian media reported Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by melting permafrost in Yakutia in August. Scientists are waiting for ice roads in the Arctic region...

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